Stephen Hawking: A Legend

Today, we lost one of the world’s most iconic scientific minds.

Stephen William Hawking was born on January 8, 1942 (300 years to the day of Galileo’s death). Although he was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 21, Hawking devoted his life to making sense of the universe.

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all. -SH

He worked extensively to unify Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and quantum theory, developed Hawking radiation theory, and, in 1988, became an international best-selling author after publishing A Brief History of Time. His many accomplishments within the scientific realm have undoubtedly catapulted him to fame with the likes of Tesla, Bohr, Rutherford, Einstein, Franklin, Newton, and Galileo.

Not only was Hawking a brilliant physicist, but also a pop culture icon. While I grew up watching his documentaries on PBS after school with my dad, others may have recognized him from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama, the Simpsons, and the Big Bang Theory. Pink Floyd even sampled Hawking’s voice in their 1994 track ‘Keep Talking.’ In 2014, The Theory of Everything was released with Eddie Redmayne portraying Stephen Hawking during his early life, diagnosis, and scientific success. Redmayne went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor in this role.

Ultimately, Stephen Hawking contributed more to mankind in a lifetime than many of us could ever fathom. He made science accessible to non-scientists and helped generate new enthusiasm for the field of theoretical physics. It is without doubt that his work will guide research for future generations. His contributions will live on forever. We truly lost a legend today.

I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful. -SH

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Stephen William Hawking

January 8, 1942- March 14, 2018

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Songs on repeat

I credit my early exposure to the realm of music to my dad, who was an avid instrumentalist. He was instrumental (ha!) in encouraging me to start violin lessons in Kindergarten and feeding my continued interest with his undying support. My classical training through the years opened doors for me to explore other genres and really helped me to appreciate most, if not all, of them.

Unfortunately, there are so many ridiculously talented artists in the world that I may never discover. In an attempt to help others with their own musical discovery or re-discovery, I’ve cumulated a playlist of ten songs that I have on repeat.

Yet another senseless tragedy

Yesterday’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, serves as a reminder that our government continuously fails to remedy our lax gun laws.Ā While 17 human beings lost their lives yesterday, many started arguing (again) about whether this was a mental health issue or a result of our citizens’ unfettered and easy access to guns.

Let me begin by saying this: Mental illness is not unique to the United States. Every country has its fair share of individuals suffering from a range of behavioral and mental disorders. Still, what is unique is our disproportionately high rate of gun violence.Ā In 2018 alone, there have been eighteen school shootings that have resulted in injury or death. This cannot become our new normal.

We, as rational citizens, should support common sense gun control such as more thorough background checks, bans on assault weapons, and bans on high-capacity magazines. This wasn’t the first school shooting and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last. Congress must put politics aside and think about the greater good for the citizens of our country.

I can’t begin to imagine what the families and friends of those murdered yesterday are going through. Sending love and light to them and to all who are affected.

Learn. Sign the petition. Call your member of Congress.Ā Donate.

Most importantly, vote.

All eyes on the Obamas

 

Amidst the never-ending turmoil of what is the Trump presidency, we have been graced today with an appearance by the Obamas at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait GalleryĀ  in Washington, D.C. There they revealed their official portraits as part of a long-standing presidentialĀ tradition.

I am entirely impressed by the choice of both artists. President Obama choseĀ Kehinde Wiley, a prominent New York City-based artist, while Michelle Obama choseĀ Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald. The choice of both artists is historical. They are the first African-American artists to receive a presidential portrait commission from the National Portrait Gallery.

Having said that, I can now convince my boyfriend to finally take the official Obama portrait (that has made its home in the corner of our kitchen– see below) to his office and, in return, we will buy, frame, and hang prints of these stunning portraits in our home.

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